Party Lights

November 29, 2015 at 8:33 pm (Reviews, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

7744084.jpgTitle: The Summer We Read Gatsby

Author: Danielle Ganek

Publisher: Viking

Genre: Literary Romance

Length: 292 pages

Something about seeing all the Christmas lights go up, and holiday party planning for the winter, led me to this book – despite its summer setting in the Hamptons heat.  I suppose the deep autumn of Texas has similar weather patterns to summertime in the country of New York, but I don’t know as I’ve never been there.  I just know that it’s anywhere from the upper 80’s to the lower 40’s all this Thanksgiving week, depending on the moment and precipitation.

Christmas in Texas always has a flair of Fitzgerald about it to me anyway.  This is the time of year when people pull out garden lights, candles, splashes of extravagant color, sparkly dresses, and dine outside where it’s cool.  This is when we cook breakfast together in over crowded houses and drink mimosas until noon, only to start pouring wine in its place by lunch.  (Naturally we evolve into beer and football by mid afternoon, but that’s not very Gatsby of us is it.  We only have so much ridiculous classy flair before we go full on redneck, after all.)

Still, there’s an appropriate place in my winter heart for this summer read, and I loved every second and every page of this witty little romance that had a Whole Nine Yards touch of mystery.  I say romance, but the romance isn’t as much for *the guy* as it is for a house – Fool’s House – and a pair of sisters.

Ganek didn’t pull any punches, she created a perfect piece of over the top fiction with all the glitter and glam of the overly fictitious.  All those moments you’ve had in your life when you’re staring at people thinking, what a character, they could be in a book.  They are in a book.  This book.  The storytellers, the actors, the gay guy, the foreigners, the artists, the deceased benefactor, the millionaire, the villains, all the archetypes that don’t quite fit their mold… they’re all here, fluttering about like a party of confetti and lights, ready to entertain.

I loved it.  It’s a keeper and I’ll read it again.

 

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Road Trippin’ with a Comic

December 22, 2013 at 9:09 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , )

road trippinTitle: Road Trippin’

Author: Jeff Hodge

When you’re reading about the life and times of a comic on the run, you get a lot of information you’d probably rather not – unless you’re a dude.  This is definitely a dude’s memoir!

It’s good! Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying getting to know Jeff Hodge.  I’m enjoying reading up on all the little adventures that made up his life.  But more than his adventures and sexcapades, I love his bits about growing up in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands and then in Houston.  Those are my favorite parts.

I’m preemptively writing this review.  I’ve had the book in my possession for awhile now (longer than I usually do when I am sent a review copy) and I’ve been picking it up and reading it leisurely.  I do this with memoirs sometimes, and Hodge’s is a memoir to take in over a long time, because I want to actually become acquainted.  I want to hang out once a week, as you would with an old friend, and absorb his life story – not just read the book in a day and forget about him like a one night stand.

Maybe it’s because he’s sort of wonderful.  Maybe it’s because going into it, his one night stand stories made me sad before I even heard them.  Call me a judgmental Christian homeschool mom, but tromping around with your pants down in bars all the time doesn’t sound like a happy life to me.  The fact that he seems to innocently stumble into these situations is both endearing and frustrating as hell.  But  I do love that Hodge has way more going on than that in his memoir.  So rather than dismiss getting to know him through his book after reading about his rendezvous with a married woman (for shame!), I calmly set it aside, and pick it up another day when my irritation has worn off – curious to see what he learned from the experience.  Exactly how I would be if I was hearing this story in person.

Road Trippin’ belongs on the shelf with Dave Barry and alongside I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell.  A little more than halfway through his book, with full intentions of finishing, I’m curious to see one of his acts.  Next time Hodge is in Houston, I plan to pay him a visit.  But as a true fan – for the record – not as a skanky hoe (and no matter how pretty you dress these girls up, I think for the most part, they were skanky hoes).

I’ll keep you posted how it all turns out in the end.  Or, you could download the 99 cent ebook and read it yourself.

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